Grapevine: In for the long term

One of Jerusalem’s more unusual architectural creations is the Bank of Israel building, which is slated for renovations and repairs.

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March 7, 2013 16:14
3 minute read.
Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer following his resignation, January 30, 2013.

Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer resigns 370. (photo credit: Sasson Tiram)

 
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ONE OF Jerusalem’s more unusual architectural creations is the Bank of Israel building, which is slated for renovations and repairs at a cost of some NIS 177 million, to be borne by the taxpayer. Timing is everything, and the announcement about the improvement project all but coincided with the bank’s harsh report on government overspending and the need to impose severe cutbacks across the board. It’s not that outgoing Governor of the Bank of Israel Stanley Fischer dreamed up the overhaul project as a parting shot before he heads for the US to join his family. The idea first came up five years ago, and the work is actually scheduled to begin next year, when Fischer will be out of office.

But the cost factor is not so much the objection as the bank’s right to make any alterations without consulting the architectural firm that designed the building. In other words, does an architect have unlimited rights over his creations and to what extent can he veto change? An article in Calcalist, the financial supplement of Yediot Aharonot, says that objections to any form of change have been raised by architect Arad Sharon, who is the grandson of Israel Prize laureate Arieh Sharon, the original architect of the Bank of Israel.

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